re: Apple News vs. RSS – Snakes and Ladders

Apple News vs. RSS – Snakes and Ladders

Guess what you see when you look at your RSS reader? Exactly what you chose to subscribe to. Neither less nor more.

Agreed, 100%. I think the problem with a lot of these Apple News silo posts is that it’s portrayed as a binary choice. It’s not. You can use Apple News and a feed reader, which is what I do…

Apple News, for me, is where all high volume and mass media subscriptions go (so magazines fit well here) and my feed reader (Feedbin) is for everything else, plus any site where I don’t want to miss any post.

High volume, multi-topic sites in feed readers are a nightmare, so that’s where Apple News can provide value. For Apple News to work well, you need to do a couple things:

  1. In General Settings > News, check the ‘Restrict Stories in Today’ to only display stories from channels you follow.

  2. Subscribe to a good number of channels and topics. I am up over 60 at this point…

  3. Use it! The more you read, love, and dislike stories, the better your device gets at recommending things to read.

No, Apple News is far from perfect. It IS closed, no read/unread state, no portability, there are minimal controls for changing the reading experience, etc, etc. (Text IS selectable and shareable on my device, so not sure where that negative came from…)

Ultimately, I want journalism to survive and prosper in the Internet age. We need it, now more than ever. The current model obviously isn’t working (advertising supported anything promotes clickbait, as we’ve all seen) and I don’t think a $10+ subscription for every site/thing under the universe is the solution either.

The Apple News+ bundle is a tremendous value if you are interested in even a handful of the publications involved AND Apple can provide enough of a market for it to possibly benefit the news industry – revenue that isn’t dependent on advertising, so that’s at least a start. I’m not sure it’s the best idea or the solution, but time will tell. In the end, if it gets the masses used to regularly paying for digital content, then I am all for it.